Diana or Artemis?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, May 3, 2014.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Please explain why some Bible versions render the Greek proper name Artemis (Strong's #735) as "Diana"? An example is found at Acts 19:34 (TR Greek) --
    ἐπιγνόντων δὲ ὅτι Ἰουδαῖός ἐστιν φωνὴ ἐγένετο μία ἐκ πάντων ὡς ἐπὶ ὥρας δύο κραζόντων Μεγάλη ἡ Ἄρτεμις Ἐφεσίων

     
  2. prophet

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    Here is the first one.

    Act 19:34
    34 But, recognising that he was a Jew, there was one cry from all, shouting for about two hours, Great [is] Artemis of the Ephesians.
    (Darby)

    And his son:

    Act 19:34
    34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
    (ESV)

    These are some of the previous English Translations:

    Act 19:34
    34 And as thei knewen that he was a Jew, o vois of alle men was maad, criynge as bi tweyn ouris, Greet Dian of Effesians.
    (WYC)

    Act 19:34
    34 When they knewe ye he was a Iewe ther arose a shoute almost for the space of two houres of all men cryinge greate is Diana of the Ephesians.
    (TyndaleBible)

    Act 19:34
    34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
    (WCV)
     
  3. Greektim

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    Diana is the Latin equivalent (and thus the Roman version) of the Greek goddess.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    Both are the mythological virginal goddess of the hunt and the wild. One is Greek. One is Roman.

    While her (their) name was once shouted in the streets - it is shouted no more.
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    Thanks for the all responses. Actually, I knew that the Roman goddess Diana is roughly the equivalent of the Greek Artemis. The question is why do/did some translators change the Greek when rendering into English.
     
  6. RLBosley

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    I believe the issue is that the KJV and other old translations went with the Vulgate reading against the Greek. The Vulgate says Diana.

    Disclosure - I do not know Latin, found it here: http://www.latinvulgate.com/lv/verse.aspx?t=1&b=5&c=19
     
  7. Greektim

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    In the ancient mindset, Artemis=Diana. So the rendering in English is artificial. One would be a transliteration. The other a sense translation.
     
  8. robycop3

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    Greek was used more than latin in most of the Roman empire, and I guess that both names were in common usage in Ephesus.
     
  9. HankD

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    Kind of like everyone knows Santa Claus and Saint Nick are the same.

    Some call Him Father Christmas as well.

    HankD
     
  10. franklinmonroe

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    Maybe not so much then as perhaps later.
    Because Latin literature was more widely known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans often had the greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical" mythology than Greek sources. (Source: a Wikipedia article) ​
     
  11. franklinmonroe

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    From the earliest mentions to the conclusion the Ephesian goddess was known by the Greek name. The origin of the temple site at Ephesus (eventually becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the World) was very ancient, even possibly pre-Greek. Their goddess was a proprietary variation of the Greek concept of Artemis, which itself was very different from the Roman Diana myth. It seems the term Artemis was jealously guarded by the Ephesians and remained even until the collapse, as witnessed by a Christian inscription found at Ephesus --
    Destroying the delusive image of the demon Artemis, Demeas has erected this symbol of Truth, the God that drives away idols, and the Cross of priests, deathless and victorious sign of Christ. (Source: a Wikipedia article) ​
     
  12. Deacon

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    So is changing a name to have modern readers better understand the text a bad thing to do?

    Apparently not – biblical writers updated the text in their time too.

    I read about this just today: read Genesis 14:14:

    During Abraham and Moses' time Dan wasn't the name for this place.

    We read about the name change in the book of Judges:

    Somebody, sometime later, updated the place-name so readers would know where it was.

    Rob
     
  13. Van

    Van
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    Lets face it, the translators chose to alter what was said in order to provide what they considered a more "helpful" version. They committed treason against the inspired text time and again.

    Genesis 14:14 seems to be a horse of a different color, because the text reads Dan. So are there any variant readings where Dan does not appear? Could there have been another place called Dan, rather than being a reference to a place not called Dan at the time?

    Bottom line, we are stuck with all these name changes, but we should footnote the phonetic transliteration, so students know what the text actually said.
     
  14. Greektim

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    Not many do use Diana. What are the major modern versions that do?
     
  15. Van

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    The KJV and the American Standard Version both us Diana. But the NASB, the ESV, the NET, the HCSB and the WEB do not. The NKJV has Diana but footnotes it with "Greek Artemis."
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Greek culture had been around for 600 years. Rome was the "upstart," having become the world superpower of Jesus day a mere 44 years or so before His birth, with the coronation of Julius Caesar. Roman language (Latin), culture and social mores hadn't replaced Greek by the time of the writing of Acts, which Dr. Luke undertook in 60 AD, less than 100 years after Caesar. It is understandable the common usage of the Greek names for virtually everything was still the norm at that time, especially since Koine Greek remained the common language of commerce among all peoples through the mid-second century.
     
  17. franklinmonroe

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    Perhaps readers in the 16th-17th century were indeed more familiar with the Roman mythology than the Greek. But today, I doubt that the average English Bible reader knows any more about Diana than of Artemis.

    So the KJV gets a 'pass' from me on this point, but not the NKJV.
     
    #17 franklinmonroe, May 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2014
  18. franklinmonroe

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    What the Holy Spirit inspired writers did cannot be compared to what translators did later.
     
  19. franklinmonroe

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    First, changes are not so cut-and-dry. I may still use the original "Federal Express" name rather than the officially changed name (FedEx) and still most folks would know what I meant. The occasional use of the fuller "Kentucky Fried Chicken" name (instead of KFC) still continues. Old names die hard.

    Second, changes may benefit an immediate audience but it becomes less and less helpful to later generations of readers. In the case of modern Bible translations I think it is best to stick to the original language text for proper names. The transliteral use of "Jesus" at Hebrews 4:8 and Acts 7:45 rather than "Joshua" seems to indicate that the KJV translators were willing at times to use the proper names as they found them in the text (there are probably other examples). Again, perhaps English readers of the 16th-17th centuries were familiar with the fact these names are essentially the same.
     

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